Rudolf, Sina; Lawrenz, Sebastian; Blömeke, Steffen; Mennenga, Mark; Herrmann, Christoph; Rausch, Andreas
One main goal of the circular economy (CE) is to extend the usage time of products, or at least of components, and keep resources in circularity by cascade use (e.g. repair, resell). Cascading maximizes resource effectiveness by using products or components over multiple use times to create the most economic and environmental value. This results in a better CO2 balance of products by avoiding the sourcing of raw materials and the generation of waste. Especially waste of electrical and electronic equipment is a fast-growing and critical product flow. The potential lifetime of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is often not fully exploited because of a lack of knowledge and awareness. After production, various stakeholders are involved to achieve the longest possible product life. Especially the potential of resell and refurbishment remain low, due to missing transparency and trust in used EEE and its individual condition. Currently, most decision assessments focus on optical conditions and only take a single cascade use (primarily resell) into account. A holistic assessment, which considers various possible cascades of the CE, is still missing. Against this background, this paper presents a method to support the linkage of stakeholders in different cascades of the CE for used EEE. Therefore, the improved circulation of EEE is achieved through a condition assessment which automatically proposes matchmakings between the owner of a used EEE and another CE stakeholder. This match could be for example between a user of a broken device and a repair provider, or a user and a reseller. Besides optical also technical conditions of used EEE are considered to provide transparency and trust due to perceived quality. The matchmaking is based on product-related quality criteria and user profiles of different stakeholders that describe their service offers and needs and propose matchmaking inline. The generic method is evaluated by the example of used laptops.